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Answers from the BJC Experts

Ask the BJC Expert allows you to get the answers you need about a variety of health, medicine and exercise issues to help you live a more healthy life.

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I have celiac disease and have been gluten-free for eight weeks. I go to the gym four times a week, an exercise class and eat 1,500 calories a day with a balanced diet. I have put on 10 pounds and gained three inches on my stomach area. How can I shift this weight? I have been very active for over 10 years and this is really getting me down. I know that it is a good sign that I have put on weight as my body is now absorbing nutrients, but how do I now get back to my norm?

I would meet with a registered dietitian to review your eating habits. Be sure to eat a balanced diet. Eat adequate calories, because too few calories can slow your metabolism. Aim for three meals with snacks in between. Select lower fat snacks (fruit, whole grain crackers). Also include regular physical activity in your day.

Nutrition counseling services at:

BJC dietitians also can be located by calling Help For Your Health at 314.747.7234.

From Ask the Exercise Specialist

Without knowing your exact workout at the gym, I will start with basic exercise principles. Cross training and progressive overload can help to decrease body fat. Cross training includes using a variety of exercise equipment such as bike, elliptical, treadmill, strength training or Swiss ball.

By using the variety of exercises, your body will not get used to doing the same thing repeatedly, which is when people hit a plateau. Progressive overload would include pushing your exercises beyond being comfortable. With strength training, to feel and see results, you must push your muscles to fatigue as long as you are not injured. As your body adapts to your cardiovascular routine, try increasing duration and intensity of your routine (but not all in the same week).

Hopefully this can help address the changes in your body due to the correction in your diet.

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